Cock ups are a part of life and how you deal with them can be an important indication of who you are as a person. Do you always look for someone to blame? Do you say it’s just bad luck and focus on the good things? Do you get angry and take it out on the nearest living thing? Or do you stoically except it and move on? When it’s a cock up that’s arisen directly because of your own fuckwit ineptitude then morally it’s more difficult to shift the blame onto someone else but infinitely more desirable because putting your hands up and saying, ‘Yeah, sorry, I didn’t realise we were meant to gag him beforehand’ can make you feel a bit daft.
The amount you shift the blame when dealing with cock ups is also relative to the scale of the calamity. It’s no surprise that after the recent flooding, members of the clergy came out saying that it was God punishing us for our lack of moral fibre. The bigger the cock up, the bigger and more abstract the entity you have to blame. It’s a basic human trait and one you can imagine pissing God off no end, to the extent that he’d punish us with a natural disaster. Cos any God that does exist must love dicking around with the way humans work. Fact.
The rational thing to do, if no one is to blame as is often the case, is to calmly except that these things happen and we are powerless to stop them, whilst at the same time not looking to things like fate, horoscopes and religion to explain away one of the scariest truths: that there’s stuff we can’t control and we’re powerless to stop it.
But when the show I’m in* gets stopped five minutes in because the lights have gone out due to a technical fault, someone has to die. Not a death in vain, however. It must be a glorious sacrifice to the God of Tech, so that he may not get angry at us again and punish us with his vengeful ways. It wasn’t the fact that it was a missed opportunity to spew acting jism all over the audience that annoyed me about the incident, it was more the fact that it was the first day we’d got a reviewer in. A good show review is the currency of the Fringe. If you’re lucky enough to have a good soundbyte along with a healthy number of stars associated with your show then all of a sudden people take more notice of what you’re trying to sell them.
It’s why you get so many selected quotes and stars on every single fucking flyer that’s laid in front of you every thirty seconds you remain stationary in Pleasance. Most of the quotes on the flyers are what Kant described as ‘taking the piss’. That is they bend the truth and original context of the article to absolute breaking point in order to make this talentless shit sound better than that other one. Promotional quotes from respectable sources that aren’t associated with stars are a good indication of this. For instance, something like “Youthful charm and gusto” – The Scotsman’ should actually run ‘“Youthful charm and gusto is what’s destroying the world of comedy from the inside out like a cancerous genital growth”. – The Scotsman.
It’s fair enough that shows do this though, reviews and stars are the glittery gold that attracts the magpie public’s eyes. They’re what draws in those all important audience members because we’re only doing it for the fucking attention anyway. It is kinda sad to see the shows that at the end of the three weeks still don’t have a single good review to use. Not even, ‘My mate who has a blog thought it was good’. While other shows are covered in much longed for stars, their own remains bare. Naked to any notice or attention. These are shows you know it would be painful to see and should be avoided at all costs.
You never know though. Maybe every time a show had a reviewer in, the Gods of Dicking People Over stepped in and cancelled it by blowing the electronics in a complicated lighting device that I could never in a thousand sunsets comprehend, rather unfairly ending the show only a scene and a half in. If by the end of three weeks Turn Me To Stone has no stars to promote it then this will no doubt be the reason. Because I sure as hell won’t be to blame…